My photo
ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011



I saw your image stitched and stuffed as a well-/worn pincushion with the legend “There/is a place in my heart for you”. ---From “Milagrito: Eye of the Raven,” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 07-25-11

Was that a heart left askew at the wayside chapel
of the Albuquerque  abbey? Was it an offering
yanked out of a purloined body, a lover’s sacrifice?
Would you do that for me, amor mio, would you? 

What looked like a heart: yes, moulded in silver
melted from old pesetas and Yanqui moneda, an
unlikely blending of borders here where human
traffic routinely includes migrant decapitation. 

Mira, mira: los dedos de plata, los ojos de oro!*
But why is that other heart carved from wood?
And that shrunken head made of brittle wax?
The maze of lines on its forehead are angry cracks. 

Las hechuras de milagritos, these miracle forms,
they, too, have class distinctions: silver and gold
for the rich, wood and wax for the struggling.
Who and what would the gods hearken to? Sabes? 

Then pray, amor mio, that surprises met here
with largesse are not the same as those in heaven.                                                                            

---Albert B. Casuga


Amor mio – my love; pesetas, moneda – money; Sabes? – Do you know?
*Look, look: the fingers are made of silver, the eyes of gold.

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